To Read: Sarah Chayes points out that, besides actually using force, the only measures the US has ever taken in the Middle East have all been aimed at facilitating future uses of force-
But many such choices later come back to haunt us. The wellsprings of extremism can't all be shrugged off as general economic malaise or high unemployment, as Obama's speech suggested. What has enraged many Muslims about United States policy is their perception — too often accurate — that Washington has empowered and enabled abusive, predatory regimes that have exacerbated such ills. The reasons for doing so have usually been connected to the ongoing or potential use of force.
Quote: "Together, we can choose the path of a negotiated two-state settlement that will allow Palestinians to fulfill their legitimate aspirations, and continue building the institutions of a sovereign and independent Palestinian state that will live in peace, security, and economic strength alongside Israel", John Kerry congratulating the new Palestinian PM.
Number: 77, the percentage of Americans who believe that religion is losing its influence.
To Read: Aluf Ben muses about the role of the 'future Holocaust' in Israel's foreign policy decisions-
The connection between the Shoah and current events seems natural and understandable today. But it wasn’t always so. During the Yom Kippur War the IDF found itself in a greatly inferior position: Egypt and Syria pulled off a surprise attack, the Air Force found it difficult to operate at the fronts, and hundreds of soldiers were killed in the battles to stop the enemy. Nonetheless, even at the most difficult hours, the statesmen and military commanders did not see the Warsaw Ghetto or Majdanek facing them. In the many books that appeared about that war it is possible to find terror and fear, confusion and loss of control − but the enemy is not described as Hitler or Eichmann.
Quote: “We have… warned Israel that if they violate Iraqi airspace, they will have to bear the consequences”, Iraq's Deputy Prime Minister Hussein al-Shahristani, warning Israel not to use his country's airspace to attack Iran.
Number: 35000, the number of Eritrean immigrants in Israel, 90 percent of who are going to be taken in by a third country.
The Middle East
To Read: According to Stephen A. Cook and Michael Koplow, the clashes in Turkey call for a US reassessment of its supposedly democratic ally in the Arab world-
It is not just the AKP that needs to reassess its policies, but Washington as well. Perhaps the Obama administration does not care about Turkey's reversion or has deemed it better to counsel, cajole, and encourage Erdogan privately and through quiet acts of defiance like extending the term of Amb. Francis Ricciardone, who has gotten under the government's skin over press freedom, for another year.
This long game has not worked. It is time the White House realized that Erdogan's rhetoric on democracy has far outstripped reality. Turkey has less to offer the Arab world than the Obama administration appears to think, and rather than just urging Arab governments to pay attention to the demands of their citizens, Washington might want to urge its friends in Ankara to do the same as well. The AKP and Prime Minister Erdogan might have been elected with an increasing share of the popular vote over the last decade, but the government's actions increasingly make it seem as if Turkish democracy does not extend farther than the voting booth.
Quote: "There is now a menace which is called Twitter. The best examples of lies can be found there. To me, social media is the worst menace to society", Turkish PM Erdogan being progressive.
Number: 40, the percentage of Syria which Bashar Assad currently controls, according to Israel's minister of Defense.
The Jewish World
To Read: A Forward article takes a look at NY's most notable Jewish mayoral candidate and at the lack of Jewish support for him-
New York’s mayoral race finally has a Jewish candidate, but he’s not getting much organized Jewish support
Anthony Weiner’s much hyped announcement that he would run in the Democratic primary for New York City mayor was greeted with a collective shrug by Jewish activists and donors across New York City.
Quote: “If the only country you want to single out is Israel, that’s anti-Semitism”, Abraham Foxman detecting Anti-Semitism in Germany's decision to label settlement products.
Number: $150m, the cost of renovating LA's Wilshire Boulevard Temple.